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people who don't know they're bad at writing. Options
prolixitysquared
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:42:07 AM
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There are some people you meet who are just bad at English. I don't even mean ESL learners. If anything, ESL students, from my experience, have a better understanding of grammar and English once they learn the odd rules because they have another language they learned beforehand. I think that helps them in grasping a second language. Although my experience with ESL students is somewhat limited. But what I really mean to discuss is those who you would assume could figure out how to write a coherent sentence and ultimately cannot.

One of my good friends in college was chosen as English Major of the Month (I was a Philosophy major with a minor in English Writing, so I wasn't eligible or upset not to be chosen !). It was a new contest-like program that the English Department started shortly before I graduated. But what was funny about this friend winning the award was that she was incredibly involved and active on campus with anything related to English, except she was seriously awful at it. She would misspell words, which I guess can happen even with the most well versed of English fanatics. But she would also write sentences that clearly didn't make sense, and she didn't understand why that was the case. She'd ask me to edit her fiction or give her my opinion on her creative writing, and I hardly knew what to say. It was so awful. But she couldn't see why it was awful.

She also spelled "surprise" with no first "r." I cringe.

The English Department let her do a write-up about herself to hang up on the wall in the hallway after she'd won the award. I was floored because it was littered with grammatical errors and hugely flawed mechanics. I wondered how the department was okay with posting that write-up because the very structure of it was insulting to the exact discipline she was supposed to be representing in a positive light. Maybe they were too worried about insulting her by asking her to revise it or to just revise it themselves because then she'd see the changes and have hurt feelings. But honestly, isn't asking her to fix her mistakes or to even acknowledge them so they can be fixed more important than letting bad writing stand in for what should be top notch student achievement ? It seems so messed up to me.

She would read books constantly, and I know she understood them well. But then she would write the infamously awful brand of creative writing coined as teenage poetry, and I just couldn't believe it. I would think that with reading literature so regularly, she would understand what is valuable in writing-- what works well and what pulls the reader in at least in terms of solid images and details. But it was all abstract and wholly repulsive teenage poetry. I think what kills me the most is just sitting on the edge of not knowing how it is that true comprehension is achieved or left behind with one person versus another.

I know that as much as I love English and grammar, I probably make mistakes here and there. But I do try very hard to make sure I proofread serious writing until I no longer hear or see the need for further edits. And I make an effort to read up on grammar rules once in a while in case there's anything I haven't fully absorbed or retained. Plus, there could always be rules out there that I haven't learned yet.

If it's about the process of learning and that different people are on different levels, I am really curious if it's the case that some people just learn later than others, some people will only truly learn once they genuinely start to care about the discipline, or if some people will go the rest of their lives not knowing they've been writing incorrectly all along.
genome
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 3:14:33 AM
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Eh? Wwwhat is the point of this post?
prolixitysquared
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 8:09:52 AM
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I suppose it may seem like a harsh endeavor, but even so, I think the point is for people who can relate to this this issue to say so and tell their own stories about similar experiences so that we can learn from one another the valuable factors involved in how bad writing can exist. As much as those of us who are avid writers, editors, and proofreaders love what we do, sometimes it's really frustrating to see the lack of understanding of the actual writer in any text.

That is probably why I'm so curious about learning styles, but I think it's somewhat more complicated than simply that topic.

Plus, there is the odd circumstance of someone whose writing is littered with mistakes suddenly trying to correct something you've written. Most often in my experience, the 'correction' was merely something that could go one way or another as a preference of style in writing, and the person didn't know that. I think it's more important to start with improving your own writing before going on to critique others. Although it could also be the case that some people eventually learn about their own flaws by seeing it in others' work. Then again, maybe some people just don't as easily see mistakes or a lack of flow in their work. I have to admit that I am probably like that at least some of the time. Personal bias for being yourself, you know.
tfrank
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 10:16:21 AM
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I'm with you. I've dealt with this a lot with friends who are writers. When people find out I'm an editor, the can't wait to find a missed bit of proofreading in a blog. It's a personal blog, people! One, it's harder to proof oneself, and two, I'm not going to take the time to be as thorough as I am with work if I'm only trying to let my friends know about a great outlet store or something.

Yet these same friends are sometimes dreadfully unaware of the most basic of rules, leaving sentences open to the most ridiculous interpretations because of dangling modifiers, using effect for affect, using to for too - but I feel like I'd be hateful and rude if I pointed it out just to teach them a little humility. Still, when I trip over my words and they take pleasure in it, I'm so tempted.

Oh, and I'm not just coming at this from the standpoint of a pedantic editor who doesn't understand the artistic nature of writing. I'm a published writer, too.

I once had a coworker tell me, "Everyone thinks they can do what we do." That's very true, because grammar is a skill that can be developed without necessarily going on to graduate school or even college. No one questions a doctor's knowledge, or an attorney's, because the doctor and the attorney have paid for a great deal of training. We don't, so people think we do something that anyone who is reasonably bright can do.
bewusstlos
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 11:19:16 AM
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I once had a boss who often complimented me by writing "Excellant" on the draft submitted for his approval. After this had happened about three times I told him about his spelling mistake. He laughed and made some lame excuse. A few days later I got another "Excellant" and decided that there really was no way to straighten a dog's tail, as the saying goes. I came to accept it, but I might have made a noise if he had won any prizes in English.


Luftmarque
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:29:20 PM

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This is an interesting and serious topic, but that post about "excellant" reminded me of another amusing "self-negating" use of English I was privileged to witness. I worked for a while at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, N.Y. in a department that built and maintained quality-control scanning machines. For one year's annual meeting, they had souvenir sweatshirts printed with the slogan "Scanners: The Gateway to Quailty." I managed to get one before they recalled them and (to their credit) reprinted them.

It seems to me that the gist of this topic is how to walk the line between acting to maintain the quality of the writing of one's friends and associates and coming off as such a pedantic anal-compulsive OCD nerd that one no longer has friends and associates. Among the forces at work here are the ongoing cultural transition away from printed language and towards images, and the anti-intellectual bias typical in the USA and present elsewhere. But it is unusually disheartening when an English Department itself contributes to the problem. I wish I knew the answer to this one!

The point about "everybody thinks he's an editor/proofreader" is a good one: acquiring a first language comes so naturally to us that we all consider ourselves experts, at least in the spoken form. But that sort of knowledge is intuitive, idiosyncratic, and often just plain wrong.

genome
Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2009 12:28:01 AM
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The objective of my query was not to belittle the original post or its writer. I am glad it provoked quite a debate. A number of interesting points were made. Technology has added its bit to the problem. Those who rely on computer software to correct spelling and grammar are likely to make goof-ups because the software performs just what it is programmed to do: hence the confusion between ‘affect’ and ‘effect’; ‘to’ and ‘too’ et al.
tfrank
Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2009 9:44:53 AM
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If only my friends were composing in Word, or something with word-processing software. Alas, it ain't so.

Although some software errors are hilarious. I remember reading about how the word "buttbuttination" made it into print. It seems the software used by this particular paper was programmed to automatically change any potentially offensive strings of letters into their less offensive counterparts. The offensive strings of letters in this case were found in the word "assassination."
prolixitysquared
Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2009 9:58:18 AM
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tfrank wrote:
If only my friends were composing in Word, or something with word-processing software. Alas, it ain't so.

Although some software errors are hilarious. I remember reading about how the word "buttbuttination" made it into print. It seems the software used by this particular paper was programmed to automatically change any potentially offensive strings of letters into their less offensive counterparts. The offensive strings of letters in this case were found in the word "assassination."


Do you know where this instance was in print ? I would love to see it in its original context !
tfrank
Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2009 1:51:31 PM
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I read about it on World Wide Words, but I don't remember which article was specifically mentioned.

Still, I did find an example online here:

http://www.barossa-region.org/Australia/UN-double-standards-again-on-display.html


At first I wondered if this was a satirical site, like the Onion, since "butt" appears so often (pass is now pbutt). A lot of language websites seem to categorize this as urban legand. But no, this website isn't satirical and no, unfortunately, buttbuttination isn't mere urban legend.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2009 3:45:32 PM
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tfrank wrote:
I read about it on World Wide Words, but I don't remember which article was specifically mentioned.

Still, I did find an example online here:

http://www.barossa-region.org/Australia/UN-double-standards-again-on-display.html


At first I wondered if this was a satirical site, like the Onion, since "butt" appears so often (pass is now pbutt). A lot of language websites seem to categorize this as urban legand. But no, this website isn't satirical and no, unfortunately, buttbuttination isn't mere urban legend.


That is amazing ! I love it.

What a wonderful piece of information to share with friends too. I'm surprised that a buttbuttnation didn't take out our last Texan president.
ValerieK
Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2009 4:18:50 PM
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A bit of Devil's Advocate here: Many excellent writers, including some of my favorites (as evidenced by their blog postings), have serious weaknesses in spelling and grammar. The people who are strong in those areas are good editors. Some people are both; some are not. I'm more inclined to judge those who are not by their wisdom in recognizing that they need editors to produce finished work.

As for spellcheck? One of those tools one has to use wisely. I hadn't heard the "buttbuttination" story before -- *splorfle!* -- but I've seen my share of head-scratchy forum substitutions. The old "The Bronze" posting board for Buffy fans substituted "cork" for "cock," resulting in the mangling of guest star Todd Babcock's name every time someone mentioned him.

And thanks to a certain boilerplate letter commonly used in my day job, I've wondered at least twice a week for the past five and half years why Microsoft Word thinks "progress" is plural.
Sarachan
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:00:09 PM
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I feel like I'm a decent writer, though I struggle sometimes with spelling. I think that my generation was taught to be computer-centric learners, and so have over-relied on spellcheck to fix all of our problems. So, I find myself trying to use the dictionary more and pay attention to words when I see them.
klee
Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 5:55:39 PM
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tfrank wrote:
I'm with you. I've dealt with this a lot with friends who are writers. When people find out I'm an editor, the can't wait to find a missed bit of proofreading in a blog. It's a personal blog, people! One, it's harder to proof oneself, and two, I'm not going to take the time to be as thorough as I am with work if I'm only trying to let my friends know about a great outlet store or something.

Yet these same friends are sometimes dreadfully unaware of the most basic of rules, leaving sentences open to the most ridiculous interpretations because of dangling modifiers, using effect for affect, using to for too - but I feel like I'd be hateful and rude if I pointed it out just to teach them a little humility. Still, when I trip over my words and they take pleasure in it, I'm so tempted.

Oh, and I'm not just coming at this from the standpoint of a pedantic editor who doesn't understand the artistic nature of writing. I'm a published writer, too.

I once had a coworker tell me, "Everyone thinks they can do what we do." That's very true, because grammar is a skill that can be developed without necessarily going on to graduate school or even college. No one questions a doctor's knowledge, or an attorney's, because the doctor and the attorney have paid for a great deal of training. We don't, so people think we do something that anyone who is reasonably bright can do.


I'm with you there. I majored in English, and got a graduate degree in teaching ESOL, and whenever I make a mistake in my speech, my husband cannot let me forget it. It gets slightly annoying-- but maybe it's his way of keeping me grounded-- or maybe it's affection??
prolixitysquared
Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 8:57:37 PM
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klee wrote:
tfrank wrote:
I'm with you. I've dealt with this a lot with friends who are writers. When people find out I'm an editor, the can't wait to find a missed bit of proofreading in a blog. It's a personal blog, people! One, it's harder to proof oneself, and two, I'm not going to take the time to be as thorough as I am with work if I'm only trying to let my friends know about a great outlet store or something.

Yet these same friends are sometimes dreadfully unaware of the most basic of rules, leaving sentences open to the most ridiculous interpretations because of dangling modifiers, using effect for affect, using to for too - but I feel like I'd be hateful and rude if I pointed it out just to teach them a little humility. Still, when I trip over my words and they take pleasure in it, I'm so tempted.

Oh, and I'm not just coming at this from the standpoint of a pedantic editor who doesn't understand the artistic nature of writing. I'm a published writer, too.

I once had a coworker tell me, "Everyone thinks they can do what we do." That's very true, because grammar is a skill that can be developed without necessarily going on to graduate school or even college. No one questions a doctor's knowledge, or an attorney's, because the doctor and the attorney have paid for a great deal of training. We don't, so people think we do something that anyone who is reasonably bright can do.


I'm with you there. I majored in English, and got a graduate degree in teaching ESOL, and whenever I make a mistake in my speech, my husband cannot let me forget it. It gets slightly annoying-- but maybe it's his way of keeping me grounded-- or maybe it's affection??


I once had a friend try to act like she had me pinned to the wall with her smarts by correcting me when I'd used the word 'irenic.' She shot back, all proud of herself, "Don't you mean 'IRONIC'?"

'Irenic' describes something that promotes peace. I politely explained this to the friend because I knew I didn't want to shoot her back with the way she thought she'd been all-knowing with me.

She was not thrilled with my response. She promptly shut up and did not seem happy about it. She was generally more science-brained, to elaborate.

Plus, I can't really imagine the word 'irenic' fitting in the same context as 'ironic' as far as sentences go. But I guess she hadn't thought out many details before she quickly jumped in to tell me I'd pronounced a word wrong.

I had just learned the word recently, at that point, while I was working on a philosophy paper about philanthropic acts. So the whole situation was quite a learning experience on numerous levels.

bullit16
Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 11:28:19 PM
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I work with a guy (at a newspaper, no less), who can't make his verb tenses match and doesn't know how to shorten a run-on sentence. Can't get it/they, can't properly do there/their/they're ... And those are the minor annoyances.
He also does something I've never in my life seen before, and I'm curious if anyone has ever seen anyone who does this, even after multiple reminders and scoldings ...
He doesn't know the difference between "our" and "are". So he will quote a basketball coach as such:
"We know how good are player can be."
I'm not sure what I find more astonishing ... that the guy got through a college journalism school like this, or that even with weekly reviews, he still can't get it right.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 11:30:10 PM
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bullit16 wrote:
I work with a guy (at a newspaper, no less), who can't make his verb tenses match and doesn't know how to shorten a run-on sentence. Can't get it/they, can't properly do there/their/they're ... And those are the minor annoyances.
He also does something I've never in my life seen before, and I'm curious if anyone has ever seen anyone who does this, even after multiple reminders and scoldings ...
He doesn't know the difference between "our" and "are". So he will quote a basketball coach as such:
"We know how good are player can be."
I'm not sure what I find more astonishing ... that the guy got through a college journalism school like this, or that even with weekly reviews, he still can't get it right.


I've seen the are / our confusion, but not in a long time. It happens !
bullit16
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2009 2:48:32 PM
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> I've seen the are / our confusion, but not in a long time. It happens !

Out of curiosity, prolixitysquared, was this a student or an adult who had that?
prolixitysquared
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2009 5:51:29 PM
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bullit16 wrote:
> I've seen the are / our confusion, but not in a long time. It happens !

Out of curiosity, prolixitysquared, was this a student or an adult who had that?


To be honest, I really don't remember where I read the mistake, but hopefully it was in a student's writing !
catskincatskin
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2009 8:19:30 PM
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I make a lot of these mistakes when I'm tired. I've learned not to send emails when I'm tired and that if I'm trying to write a paper when I'm lacking sleep I'll be in for a heavy editing job the following day. Mistakes I commonly make when working with too little sleep include the omission of verbs, the omission of the word "you," "are" for "our," "own" for "one," and the letter "p" instead of "b."
prolixitysquared
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2009 8:28:09 PM
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catskincatskin wrote:
I make a lot of these mistakes when I'm tired. I've learned not to send emails when I'm tired and that if I'm trying to write a paper when I'm lacking sleep I'll be in for a heavy editing job the following day. Mistakes I commonly make when working with too little sleep include the omission of verbs, the omission of the word "you," "are" for "our," "own" for "one," and the letter "p" instead of "b."


Definitely-- writing emails or doing any writing work late at night is dangerous unless you have plenty of time to edit it before sending the stuff to its final destination. I learned this the hard way last week. I had to interview a source later than I expected because he was in another time zone and couldn't get back to me sooner. I was so tired that I knew I couldn't do the work, so I went to bed and attempted to get up early to do the writing before going to my regular job the next morning. I must have still been groggy, but admittedly, I only proofread once, where normally I would proofread an article as many times as it took until I could no longer see room for revisions. But I was going to be late for work, so I just sent it in anyway.

I later looked at my copy and saw that I spelled 'Fobes' for a man whose name was 'Forbes,' and I left out the word 'wanted' in a sentence that ended "...but he <> to help."

I called my editor and told her about the errors. I did warn her ahead of time though. Still. That kind of thing is mortifying.
wordnerd
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2009 10:33:38 AM
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I apologize for taking this topic in a different direction but on the original theme. When I was a graduate student in English years ago, I worked in the Writing Lab. The Lab helped anyone--student, faculty, staff, citizen--with writing problems. Often, Composition instructors would send us people with tough issues.

One of my more memorable students was a guy whose Comp instructor sent him over with a note that said, "This guy is hopeless!" The guy in question was a slightly older student (in his 30s as a freshman) who'd been browbeaten early in life by an English teacher who tried to cure him of having unclear antecedents for his pronouns. That teacher's solution was to forbid this kid from using pronouns at all. He took this lesson to heart bigtime, so there he was, 15 or 20 years later, convinced his writing was crystal clear because he'd weeded out the demon pronouns from his text. So he'd write whole essays about, for instance, "Ziebart Auto-Truck Rustproofing" and never once refer to the company as "it," "they," "them" or even "the company," for fear his meaning would be mistaken. It was like reading something Rainman had written (though this was long before the movie.) This poor guy thought he was an "excellent writer." It took a surprising amount of work to get him to realize and acknowledge that good writers actually managed to use pronouns without confusing their readers. Brick wall

ValerieK
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2009 10:08:31 PM
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wordnerd: Yikes! That poor guy is an extreme example, but I do find that a lot of people have trouble internalizing grammar rules. They have to think about them consciously each time, or at least consciously build a habit. And the habit is by rote, without a solid understanding of why the rule works, so the result can't help being stilted.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:15:10 PM
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wordnerd wrote:
I apologize for taking this topic in a different direction but on the original theme. When I was a graduate student in English years ago, I worked in the Writing Lab. The Lab helped anyone--student, faculty, staff, citizen--with writing problems. Often, Composition instructors would send us people with tough issues.

One of my more memorable students was a guy whose Comp instructor sent him over with a note that said, "This guy is hopeless!" The guy in question was a slightly older student (in his 30s as a freshman) who'd been browbeaten early in life by an English teacher who tried to cure him of having unclear antecedents for his pronouns. That teacher's solution was to forbid this kid from using pronouns at all. He took this lesson to heart bigtime, so there he was, 15 or 20 years later, convinced his writing was crystal clear because he'd weeded out the demon pronouns from his text. So he'd write whole essays about, for instance, "Ziebart Auto-Truck Rustproofing" and never once refer to the company as "it," "they," "them" or even "the company," for fear his meaning would be mistaken. It was like reading something Rainman had written (though this was long before the movie.) This poor guy thought he was an "excellent writer." It took a surprising amount of work to get him to realize and acknowledge that good writers actually managed to use pronouns without confusing their readers. Brick wall



That is an awful story. I can't picture a teacher forcing a student to forgo pronoun usage altogether. I just can't see how that would ever work out well. That's so misleading. Those kinds of educators give their fellow teachers a bad name.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:18:42 PM
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ValerieK wrote:
wordnerd: Yikes! That poor guy is an extreme example, but I do find that a lot of people have trouble internalizing grammar rules. They have to think about them consciously each time, or at least consciously build a habit. And the habit is by rote, without a solid understanding of why the rule works, so the result can't help being stilted.


I agree. I think a lot of why some people have bad grammar habits to begin with is because they don't understand its actual purpose. I think that's the case with a lot of misunderstood concepts and methods in disciplines.

It's hard to figure out how to make people really absorb a skill and its meaning unless they really want to learn for themselves. But maybe some people can pick up on certain skills well without actually caring about the subjects much. I suppose it's something that has to be judged on a case-by-case basis.
fred
Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 1:43:18 PM
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I ain't none skitterdy bout being learned that there school book scribin.
Citiwoman
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 12:33:42 AM
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I've written and edited. Many writers who believe they are great writers (and I was once among them) are actually bad for one reason: they are over the top. They love to see their words (many, many words) because the words are so philosophical, so intellectual, so big. In college I wrote papers for a particular communications professor with thesaurus in hand. The goal was to use as many obscure and mind-blowing words as humanly possible. And each time I rather mindlessly used my thesaurus and big words I received a high mark, regardless of the order and actual sense of the paper. It took years to realize that less really is more, and I (and probably you, too) can say something profound and clever and intelligent in a concise manner. I think that is an essential of good writing.
fred
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 10:36:16 AM
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Citiwoman wrote:
I've written and edited. Many writers who believe they are great writers (and I was once among them) are actually bad for one reason: they are over the top. They love to see their words (many, many words) because the words are so philosophical, so intellectual, so big. In college I wrote papers for a particular communications professor with thesaurus in hand. The goal was to use as many obscure and mind-blowing words as humanly possible. And each time I rather mindlessly used my thesaurus and big words I received a high mark, regardless of the order and actual sense of the paper. It took years to realize that less really is more, and I (and probably you, too) can say something profound and clever and intelligent in a concise manner. I think that is an essential of good writing.


I would like to shake your hand.
Raparee
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 11:07:53 AM

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I think writing is progressive, in that we learn something new every time. There are things I was so proud of having written in high school that make me cringe now, but then again, there are some things during the same time that still seem pretty awesome. When I write creatively, sometimes it just flows perfectly and has a great vibe to it and sometimes it's a struggle...then I go back and I can rewrite it to my satisfaction (sometimes...other times, I just can't get it!). And yes, some people are just plain HOPELESS. It's not so much that they can't, it's that they've gotten along just fine until now because they've always had someone fix the problems, so why should they do any differently until it really smacks them in the face and they look like an idiot? Which segues into the whole online environment - this is a WRITTEN environment. If you can't take the time to SPELL out a word and insist on using chat/textspeak, I'm not going to wrack my brain to figure out what you're saying. You might be the most brilliantly articulate person in the world if I met you at the grocery store or coffee shop, but if you write/type like an idiot online, I'm going to think of you as one. *shrugs* At least I try, even though I will never claim to be perfect. (One of my rules for bedtime is if I'm chatting and I start having serious trouble typing/spelling.)

Slightly OT: I know fatigue contributes to the juxtaposition of are/our, there/their/they're, and others along the same vein for most of us, but does anyone find themselves trying to type numbers for letters? Like reaching for the 3 instead of e or 4 for r? I can't recall ever doing this before, but the last few months, I've noticed myself doing it more and more.
fred
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 11:33:31 AM
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Joined: 4/1/2009
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Raparee wrote:
I think writing is progressive, in that we learn something new every time. There are things I was so proud of having written in high school that make me cringe now, but then again, there are some things during the same time that still seem pretty awesome. When I write creatively, sometimes it just flows perfectly and has a great vibe to it and sometimes it's a struggle...then I go back and I can rewrite it to my satisfaction (sometimes...other times, I just can't get it!). And yes, some people are just plain HOPELESS. It's not so much that they can't, it's that they've gotten along just fine until now because they've always had someone fix the problems, so why should they do any differently until it really smacks them in the face and they look like an idiot? Which segues into the whole online environment - this is a WRITTEN environment. If you can't take the time to SPELL out a word and insist on using chat/textspeak, I'm not going to wrack my brain to figure out what you're saying. You might be the most brilliantly articulate person in the world if I met you at the grocery store or coffee shop, but if you write/type like an idiot online, I'm going to think of you as one. *shrugs* At least I try, even though I will never claim to be perfect. (One of my rules for bedtime is if I'm chatting and I start having serious trouble typing/spelling.)

Slightly OT: I know fatigue contributes to the juxtaposition of are/our, there/their/they're, and others along the same vein for most of us, but does anyone find themselves trying to type numbers for letters? Like reaching for the 3 instead of e or 4 for r? I can't recall ever doing this before, but the last few months, I've noticed myself doing it more and more.


I disagree.
You can't expect everyone to be you.
Raparee
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 11:55:35 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/17/2009
Posts: 1,228
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fred wrote:
I disagree.
You can't expect everyone to be you.

*shrugs* To each their own. I'm not willing to argue it as it's personal opinion. I find written conversations much more interesting and engaging when people do not devolve into textspeak. Textspeak has a place and it is while texting, though even then, I dislike it and choose not to use it (and no, I do not consider standard abbreviations textspeak as they were in use before texting).

To slide back into topic, I do notice that those who do text a great deal tend to have it infect their normal writing skills if they are preparing reports/emails/whatever and therefore, contributing to the problems mentioned in previous posts. It's rather like a shortcut used too often - you forget how to do it the right way when you actually need to do so. Actually, it could be interesting to know if editors have found more problems since the advent of rampant texting, to see just how much of an effect, if any, it has had.
fred
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 12:18:59 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2009
Posts: 1,475
Neurons: 4,457
Location: United States
Raparee wrote:
fred wrote:
I disagree.
You can't expect everyone to be you.

*shrugs* To each their own. I'm not willing to argue it as it's personal opinion. I find written conversations much more interesting and engaging when people do not devolve into textspeak. Textspeak has a place and it is while texting, though even then, I dislike it and choose not to use it (and no, I do not consider standard abbreviations textspeak as they were in use before texting).

To slide back into topic, I do notice that those who do text a great deal tend to have it infect their normal writing skills if they are preparing reports/emails/whatever and therefore, contributing to the problems mentioned in previous posts. It's rather like a shortcut used too often - you forget how to do it the right way when you actually need to do so. Actually, it could be interesting to know if editors have found more problems since the advent of rampant texting, to see just how much of an effect, if any, it has had.


Yes, it would be great if the world had your vocabulary and writing skills.
WordLover
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 12:20:37 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/28/2009
Posts: 40
Neurons: 120
Location: Florida, United States
[quote=prolixitysquared]
"One of my good friends in college was chosen as English Major of the Month . . . . "

What college did you go to?
Raparee
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 12:21:59 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/17/2009
Posts: 1,228
Neurons: 18,102
fred - As I said, it's simply my opinion and I'm not going to argue. If you want to text, go right ahead. I am neither inclined nor capable of stopping you. I am, however, curious to see if texting has had an impact on what editors see pass through their hands on a regular basis, which I thought was along the lines of this particular thread. Why are you so hung up on this?
fred
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 12:37:38 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2009
Posts: 1,475
Neurons: 4,457
Location: United States
Raparee wrote:
fred - As I said, it's simply my opinion and I'm not going to argue. If you want to text, go right ahead. I am neither inclined nor capable of stopping you. I am, however, curious to see if texting has had an impact on what editors see pass through their hands on a regular basis, which I thought was along the lines of this particular thread. Why are you so hung up on this?


You are assuming I am "hung up".
My point is- one should respect others peoples abilities, especially if they don't match up to your own... as I was trying to show to you of yours.
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